The total number of mobile subscriptions in India is expected to reach approximately 1.37 billion by 2021, according to Ericsson Mobility Report India edition report.
The GSM/EDGE subscriber base is expected to grow until 2016 and then decline thereafter due to operator initiatives to migrate 2G subscribers to 3G, decreasing handset prices and bundling of data with devices.
The WCDMA/HSPA and LTE (3G and 4G) networks are expected to gain momentum, and the subscriptions will together account for 65% of Indian subscriptions by 2021.
Mobile broadband is set to dramatically increase, with smartphone subscriptions and total mobile traffic expected to increase four-fold and fifteen-fold respectively from 2015 to 2021 – reaching 810 million smartphone subscriptions and mobile traffic of 4.5 ExaBytes (EB) per month.
Data traffic per active smartphone is expected to increase five-fold from 1.4 GigaByte (GB) per month in 2015 to 7 GB per month by 2021. In 2021, 99% of the region’s mobile traffic will be from data.
Total smartphone traffic is growing seventeen-fold to 4.2 EB per month by 2021. Data traffic for other devices is expected to increase four-fold, between 2015 and 2021 to around 170 Peta Bytes per month.
The most important factor in determining both network performance and smartphone users’ satisfaction with their operator will be data speed.
Young smartphone users aged 15-24 years old drive the need for better data speed and data coverage and have a higher inclination to pay a premium for the same.
Over 70% of smartphone users are satisfied with the network performance at home while doing instant messaging, web browsing or social networking using mobile internet. Over 60% of smartphone users are satisfied with the network performance at home while streaming videos using mobile internet.
However, only 50% users satisfied with network performance for streaming videos on a smartphone while commuting.
The study says that among Indian smartphone users, WhatsApp Messenger is the top mobile app followed by Google Search and YouTube.
The global report stated that India grew the most in terms of mobile subscribers with +21 million net additions in first quarter this year, followed by Myanmar (+5 million), Indonesia (+5 million), USA (+3 million and Pakistan (+3 million).